Why Does My Water Bottle Smell Like a Wet Dog?

Why Does My Water Bottle Smell Like a Wet Dog?

Has it ever happened that you drink from your water bottle and it smells like a wet dog? You know that it has nothing to do with your house because the dog does not drink out of the bottle. If you’re wondering: why does my water bottle smell like a wet dog? Keep reading, as we’ll discuss the reasons why, and what you can do about it.

Why Does My Water Bottle Smell Like a Wet Dog?

The primary reason why a water bottle smells like a wet dog is due to bacteria build-up. This is a common problem when you use your water bottle daily. If you do not wash your water bottle thoroughly and regularly, these microorganisms can increase and even become a problem. 

Unfortunately, many people keep their bottles sealed or in wet areas for long periods without water inside. This leaves an unpleasant odor and taste as well. After washing your bottle, we recommend that you store it without the lid for it to air dry quickly. 

Woman taking a sip from her water bottle

By knowing how it got smelly in the first place, you can easily prevent it from happening again. This way, you won't have to worry about your water bottle smelling like a wet dog.

Lack of Proper Cleaning

Water bottles are good at trapping odors and bacteria. If you don't properly clean the container that holds your water, it can become contaminated with mold or mildew. This can produce smells that transfer to any liquid contents in the bottle.

Regularly clean your water bottle so it doesn't smell like a wet dog. In addition, let your water bottle dry completely when storing them before using it again. 

Type of Material of The Water Bottle

Plastic water bottles wear and tear over time. This gives a chance for bacteria to build up, contaminating the water, leading to a wet dog's smell. The best remedy to this issue is to invest in stainless water bottles like Hydro Cell bottles.

Hydro Cell stainless steel water bottles use the highest grade 18/8 stainless steel. The bottles guarantee that no decomposition or erosion can occur; making them more durable than most products in the market.

High Temperatures 

Both plastic and metal water bottles are affected by hot temperatures. Therefore, the air or gases present in the water bottles dissolve, leading to the water bottles' smell of a wet dog. Stainless water bottles such as Hydro Cell stainless steel bottles are not affected by temperature.

During the manufacturing of Hydro Cell water bottles, the proprietary ThermoCell technology provides great insulation. Hence, temperatures will not affect the bottles, ensuring that your water bottle doesn't smell like a wet dog.

How Long You Store Your Water

When you use either metal and plastic water bottles to store your water for an extended period, they end up smelling like a wet dog. This is because plastic or some metals can leach harmful chemicals into the water. 

On the other hand, storing your water in stainless steel water bottles like the Hydro Cell water bottles does not leave any smell. Hydro Cell water bottles have the highest performing vacuum seal technology, enabling the water to stay fresh for more than a week.

Hydro Cell water bottles


Why Does It Happen in Water Bottles Specifically?

Some water bottles are made of materials that don't react well with certain foods and drinks, especially acidic ones like citrus juices. The acidity may affect the structural integrity of some containers over time if they are not well sealed.

Some water bottles are porous. They absorb odors easily and then pass them on to anything stored inside. 

For instance, a 2017 study shows that 19% of the respondents buy flavored water. Some water bottles come with a variety of flavors infused into the plastic itself. When combined with flavored water, it may give your drinking bottle an odd aftertaste if you don't clean it regularly.

How To Clean A Water Bottle That Smells Like A Wet Dog

Cleaning your water bottle regularly and properly is essential in preventing it from having the weird smell of a wet dog. If you’re concerned about this, follow these to clean a water bottle.

  1. Scrub the inside of your container with a bottle brush or other cleaning tool that will reach into every nook and cranny to remove any residue.
  2. Rinse out the vessel thoroughly to get rid of all soap, baking soda/powder, vinegar, etc., as well as any loose residue.
  3. Fill the vessel with warm water and add a little baking soda or vinegar. Next, please put it in the dishwasher to air dry on its own. 
  4. If step three didn't eliminate all smells, try adding some tea tree oil - about 20 drops should do the trick. 
  5. If you still cannot get rid of the smell, then your container might not handle odors well. Consider getting a stainless steel water bottle instead. 
  6. Make sure that when reassembling your water bottles, let them air dry to prevent bacteria growth.

Woman lounging on the beach sands with a water bottle in hand

Related Questions

How Do I Know if My Water Has Gone Bad?

It's surprising how many people don't check their water bottles to see if there's a bad smell before drinking the water. If you notice any discoloration or debris floating in your water, avoid drinking it immediately. 

A good solution is purchasing stainless steel water bottles like Hydro Cell bottles that are easy to clean and don’t retain any smells or flavors.

Is It Safe To Drink From A Smelly Water Bottle?

No, it isn't safe drinking from a smelly water bottle. Clean the bottle regularly and use stainless steel water bottles such as Hydro Cell bottles that guarantee no smell.

Can You Drink Water Left Overnight?

Yes, it's okay if you drink water left overnight only if the water bottle is closed or sealed correctly. Ensure that you do not let the water stay for longer periods.


Stainless steel is generally considered a suitable material for preventing smells. It's impervious to liquids and resistant to odors, so it won't absorb anything that's inside of it over time. Do not hesitate to grab a Hydro Cell water bottle to enjoy all these benefits.

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